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Yearly Outings Calendar

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Anyone else have the experience of coaching the SPL to come prepared with the school calendar, and PL's to bring ideas of what their patrol wants to do for the next year ... and then at the planning meeting everyone shows up without having done any of the preparation that they had agreed to do?


If yes, what happened next?

If not, how did you prevent it?


allengr - have you tried having the SPL be responsible for bringing the posters/visual aids?


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We don't have Yearly Outings because with that frequency, we may lose too many BSA members. :)


Seriously, when I was a Scoutmaster I usually scheduled our annual planning meeting in late July or early August time frame.


Scoutmaster's tasks: Homework (evaluate the past year, gather important dates, define troop priorities, etc.), get patrol input, hold a program planning meeting, consult/inform troop committee and CO, distribute plan to troop.


Now, the SPL should work with the PLC take the "homework" that was done by the Scoutmaster to get Patrol input (have scribes take good notes) and then hold a troop annual planning meeting (SM, SAs, PLC). Other adults may attend but their function should only be to provide food & drink!


Now, if an SPL or PLC does not come prepared revisit if the SM set the proper expectations, did his homework, etc. If the fault truly lies with the SPL then counsel him and reschedule the meeting to a later date. I would advise setting up a status meeting with the SM & SPL (plus an observer for YP) to review so you don't waste everyone's time again.


My downfall was the attendance of too many parents (non-SAs) who wanted to plan what they wanted to do and the Scouts were all to willing shut down and let them take over the planning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As an update, we had a successful annual planning session last weekend. It took about three hours and the SPL ran the show. He brought small pieces of paper so that the Scouts could do a stop-start-continue exercise with outings we've either done before or ones they'd like to add. (I was a little surprised that he asked the adults to participate, too.)


It took a while and the process wasn't terribly smooth. The SPL had all council and school district dates handy but he didn't bring any presentation materials other than the pieces of paper. Since I had anticipated that, I brought some Sharpies and large poster board for him to write one.


At the end of the session, we had a full yearly calendar with places and ideas for activities. All in all, I thought it was a success. However, an adult in our Troop who was present sent me a follow-up email suggesting that he assist in developing some more high-tech ways of gauging Scouts' interests, etc. And he thinks the job of leading this session should be taken off the shoulders of the SPL...


I was/am at a loss for words...The SPL should be running the show and the adults shouldn't be making so many suggestions...At least he told me and not the SPL, right?

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"I was/am at a loss for words..."


It is not a purpose of Scouting to have a finely honed and efficient operation. It's to teach boys how to do stuff. They learn by actually doing stuff. So you explain to the the well-meaning-but-misguided-adult that his "take-over" idea doesn't teach boys planning skills and doesn't further the purposes of Scouting.

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